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Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Your Kids Can Get Rewards for Good Grades in Greenville, SC

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Where can you bring your child to celebrate great grades? In Greenville, SC there are a number of local businesses that will give your kids rewards for good grades.

So, you and your child (and hopefully the teacher) have survived the school year!  WAHOO!  Now- what else are those awesome grades good for?  Lots!

Here are a few places where you can get rewarded for great grades!  Be sure to bring your child’s report card with you, just in case.

Here's where you can find rewards for good grades in Greenville, SC
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Textile Mills in South Carolina: Upstate Historical Mills That You Can Visit

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Looking for a unique history lesson at textile mills in South Carolina? The Upstate of South Carolina has a rich history of textile production. Many cities and towns were heavily influenced by the presence of textile mills and the eventual closure of those mills. When the mills were at their prime, Mill Villages boasted homes, schools, baseball teams, and even vacation destinations. You can see evidence of this mill history and mill village life all around the Upstate if you know where to look.

Textile Mills in South Carolina: Upstate

Many previous textile mills in South Carolina are now home to parks where you can explore their history, as well as enjoy some time outdoors. Load up the kids and check out these historic textile mill sites for today’s history lesson and get some sun while you’re at it! It’s so much more fun than learning history in a textbook, right?

Here’s a map of where they are located:

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Get ahead this summer with Sylvan Learning Center

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It’s nearing summer and parents may be dreading the annual balancing act of having summer fun and summer learning, too. Sylvan offers some great options that combine fun with engaging learning activities that will help children feel prepared for the coming school year and avoid summer learning loss all while having a great time! (And if your register for their summer camp before April 30, you can buy 2 and get 1 free!) 

Thank you to Sylvan of the Upstate for supporting Kidding Around Greenville by sponsoring this post.

Sylvan Learning of the Upstate (with locations in Greenville, Taylors, Spartanburg, and Anderson) has the perfect solution – the well-known tutoring company has a variety of options that include personalized instruction, excellent STEM and academic camps, courses for credit, and prep classes to help students catch up on any unfinished learning, get a head start on next school year, and build confidence for college while having a great time learning.

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Shannon Forest Christian School Provides an Exceptional Education and Much More

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Choosing how to educate your child involves making important decisions, often early on in their life when parenting is still pretty new. The Greenville area has many wonderful schools, which is great – but it can also be overwhelming. I’ve talked to tons of parents in the area about their recommendations for schools and one always, always tops the list: Shannon Forest Christian School (SFCS).

Thank you to Shannon Forest Christian School for supporting Kidding Around Greenville by sponsoring this website post.

The parents I’ve spoken with about Shannon Forest get fairly animated when they discuss the school. They love it. Like really love it. SFCS has wonderful academics, athletics, and the encouraging atmosphere of a Christian education experience. Parents specifically mention the teachers and the Transitional Kindergarten program has two of the highlights.

So here is why Shannon Forest may be a great fit for your family.

Shannon Forest Christian School

Academic Environment

SFCS offers Shannon Beginnings for K3 and K4, in both full and half day options for the smaller ones. The program helps to prepare young children for an easy transition to Kindergarten which includes lots of guided play and nurturing care from loving teachers.

If some children are not ready for Kindergarten, Shannon Forest offers a unique Transitional Kindergarten Program. The Lower School includes Kindergarten 5 through 5th Grade.  Students also enjoy time in the Innovations STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Lab.

Middle school is tough and can be a hard transition for some students. SFCS conducts a specially designed Crusader Crossroads program to ease students through this big step, plus classes, study sessions and one-on-one tutoring options are targeted at student success.

The Upper School at SFCS encompasses students in 7th-12th Grade and focuses on Math, Science, History and English. Several Advanced Placement (AP) courses like English, Calculus, U.S. History, European Biology, Music Theory and Biology are available for qualified students. The SFCS Director of College Counseling assists students and their families as they apply for college and explore career options.

Athletics and The Arts

On the athletic field, students in 6th through 12th Grade are able to participate in a variety of sports teams including soccer, volleyball, cross country, basketball, cheerleading, soccer, golf, baseball, and track & field.

The school has no shortage of creative outlets for the students. SFCS offers Foreign Language, Drama, Choir, Yearbook and Visual Arts. They also perform concerts and theatrical productions for the school and community.

Christ-Centered Values

Shannon Forest is unapologetic about its worldview; it is distinctly Christian and rooted in discipleship. Every member of the faculty and staff understands that their vocation as teachers is to teach in a way that is Christ-centered, academically excellent, and designed to move students into higher categorical thinking. They also understand that teaching is discipleship by its very nature. Family, love, and truth are at the heart of what every student and family experiences on the Shannon Forest campus.

SFCS develops these role models by requiring a certain number of service hours from each student where they are able to demonstrate their Christian faith and values in the real world.

The Vision of the school is “Educating and equipping students to pursue excellence and impact the world for Jesus Christ.” The mission is similar: “We are a Christian community providing a comprehensive college-preparatory education rooted in the truth of a Biblical worldview and marked by wisdom, excellence, and purpose.”

Shannon Forest 50th anniversary

Fall Fest

Shannon Forest is celebrating their 50th year and are inviting anyone and everyone to their big Fall Fest on Thursday, October 25th from 5 pm – 8:50 pm. A BBQ dinner will be available for purchase but lots of free activities are happening as well, like Children’s Activities, swing dancing, music including a performance by Brandon and The Books, and special guest, Pastor Clayton King.

To purchase the dinner, visit the Shannon Forest website. To schedule a tour of the school, email or call the Director of Admissions, Candace Kurtz at ckurtz@shannonforest.com or call 864.678.5113.

Plan a visit to Shannon Forest

Shannon Forest Christian School
829 Garlington Road, Greenville
864.678.5107

Would Shannon Forest Christian School be a good fit for your child?

Shannon Forest Christian School Provides An Exceptional Education for Students in K3 – 12th Grade

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Thank you to Shannon Forest Christian School for sponsoring this content.

Choosing how to educate your child involves making important decisions. Thankfully there are many options available which can make these decisions even more overwhelming.

While there are a multitude of stellar schools in the Upstate, Shannon Forest Christian School (SFCS) is one that stands out for their academics, athletics, and the encouraging atmosphere of a Christian education experience. Shannon Forest is always near the top of any list of reader-recommended schools that Kidding Around Greenville has compiled. Families truly love this school.

Academic Environment

SFCS offers Shannon Beginnings for K3 and K4, in both full and half day options for the smaller ones. The program helps to prepare young children for an easy transition to Kindergarten which includes lots of guided play and nurturing care from loving teachers.

If some children are not ready for Kindergarten, Shannon Forest offers a unique Transitional Kindergarten Program.   The Lower School includes Kindergarten 5 through 5th Grade.  Students also enjoy time in the Innovations STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Lab.

Entering the 6th Grade can be a difficult transition for many students.  SFCS conducts a specially designed Crusader Crossroads program to ease students through this big step, plus classes, study sessions and one-on-one tutoring options are targeted at student success.

The Upper School at SFCS encompasses students in 7th-12th Grade and focuses on Math, Science, Hstory and English. Several Advanced Placement (AP) courses like English, Calculus, U.S. History, European Biology, Music Theory and Biology are available for qualified students. The SFCS Director of College Counseling assists students and their families as they apply for college and explore career options.

Learning How to Pay for College

Higher education is not cheap, even for state schools. Some families will send a child to college next year, while others may have 12 years to plan.  SFCS is offering a one-night workshop on Tuesday, March 13th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm entitled “Little Known Secrets of Paying for College.”  Parents will learn ways to send their child to the college of their dreams without breaking the bank!

Parents will also discover strategies that may enable to them to qualify for financial aid, sources for scholarships, and strategies for maximizing your wealth and minimizing your tax exposure, giving you greater cash flow for funding a college education.

It’s free, open to the public and for families of ALL ages!  The workshop takes place at Eastside Presbyterian Church Sanctuary, 829 Garlington Road, Greenville. Register here.

Athletics and The Arts

On the athletic field, students in 6th through 12th Grade are able to participate in a variety of sports teams including soccer, volleyball, cross country, basketball, cheerleading, soccer, golf, baseball, and track & field.

The school has no shortage of creative outlets for the students. SFCS offers Foreign Language, Drama, Choir, Yearbook and Visual Arts. They also perform concerts and theatrical productions for the school and community.

Christ-Centered Values

Shannon Forest is unapologetic about its worldview; it is distinctly Christian and rooted in discipleship. Every member of our faculty and staff understands that their calling, as teachers, is to teach in a way that is Christ-centered, academically excellent, and designed to move students into higher categorical thinking. They also understand that teaching is discipleship, by its very nature. Words like concern, family, love and truth sit at the heart of what your student and family will experience once you set foot on the Shannon Forest campus.

SFCS develops these role models by requiring a certain number of service hours from each student where they are able to demonstrate their Christian faith and values in the real world.

The Vision and Mission of the school are:

Vision: Educating and equipping students to pursue excellence and impact the world for Jesus Christ.

Mission: We are a Christian community providing a comprehensive college-preparatory education rooted in the truth of a Biblical worldview and marked by wisdom, excellence, and purpose.

Take a Tour

Interested in Shannon Forest Christian School and want to learn more? The school offers Tour Tuesdays on February 20th, 7th, March 6th, 13th, 20th, April 3rd, 10th, 17th, and May 1st. No reservations are needed for any of the Tour Tuesdays. If you’d like a different time and date, email or call the Director of Admissions, Candace Kurtz at ckurtz@shannonforest.com or call 864.678.5113.

Shannon Forest Christian School
829 Garlington Road
Greenville, SC
Main number: 864.678.5107

Would Shannon Forest Christian School be a good fit for your child?

Learning Opportunities for Teens in the Upstate

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Ready or not, your teenager is heading out into the real world soon! Fortunately, the Upstate provides teenagers with learning experiences all year long outside of the general education classroom. If your teen is interested in a career in science, government, or the arts, there are several local options for teens to gain experience.

General Learning Experiences in the Upstate

The Upstate is home to multiple museums that offer teenagers the chance to learn more in-depth information and opportunities to volunteer for a behind-the-scenes look at what these museums and centers offer. For example, Roper Mountain Science Center allows teens to volunteer where they will get first-hand STEM learning opportunities. Plus, places like the Spartanburg History Museum, offer summer camps just for teenagers.

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Learning Opportunities Galore at the Library

The first place to begin searching for learning opportunities for your teen is the local library. Spartanburg County Public Libraries offer educational programs for teens (how to get a job programs, test prep courses, etc.), volunteer programs, and internship opportunities. Plus, the Headquarters Library has recently the SPARKspace, which is a public makerspace with librarians who will teach your teen everything from 3D printing to sewing. Greenville County Public Libraries also offer teen programs and homeschool programs.

Life Skills and Career Preparation Opportunities

If your teen has not decided on a career path, look for learning opportunities that open the doors to multiple careers and teach life skills. For example, the Benjamin Franklin Experience in Greenville is a summer program that is designed to help teens consider different careers.

If you are looking for leadership experience, there are several options. Both the Spartanburg Parks and Greenville Parks systems offer different teen leadership and scholastic programs.  The YMCA of Greenville hosts SC Youth in Government and Y-Corps. Additionally, teens can become a part of Junior Achievement of Upstate South Carolina.

Test Preparation

For those parents looking for test preparation courses, consider Sylvan Learning Centers, which has locations throughout the Upstate. Sylvan offers test prep courses all year, but they also offer a variety of STEM courses and camps during the summer. SC Test Prep is another test prep program based in Spartanburg.

Lifeguard and Boater Certification

Teenagers wanting lifeguard certification can take a course at their local YMCA. If your teenager wants to have his/her boater certification, you can find information about the process here. In South Carolina, those under 16 years of age are legally required to pass a boating education course before operating a personal watercraft (including jet skis).

Language Learning Opportunities

German School Upstate offers classes in Spartanburg (Spartanburg Day School) and Greenville (Shannon Forest Christian School). Additionally, Spartanburg Country libraries has a teen program called “Language Learning Teens.”

Learning About Animals

For teens interested in animals, they can volunteer at either the Greenville Humane Society or the Spartanburg Humane Society. In addition to volunteering, Greenville Zoo hosts career day events for teens throughout the year.

Learning the Arts

There is an abundance of learning opportunities in the arts in the Upstate. Your teen can take acting classes at Spartanburg Youth Theatre and South Carolina Children’s Theatre, as well as take classes during the summer at USC Upstate. For the musicians, Lawson Academy offers several courses to help individuals perfect their skills.  For the aspiring artists, Spartanburg Art Museum, Creative Soul, and Greenville Center for Creative Arts offer classes just for teens.

These programs are all specially designed for teens ensuring they will have fun and learn at the same time. What’s even more exciting? Many of these places offer flexible scheduling, homeschool classes, and a wide variety of summer camps just for teens!

Do you have a learning opportunity for teens to add to our list? Add it in the comments!

 

Everything You Wanted to Know about School Food in Greenville County

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Have you ever wondered what your kids are eating for lunch? Local mom Kristina Hernandez interviewed Joe Urban, director of Food and Nutrition Services of Greenville County Schools. She asked him all the questions about school food that you might have wondered about but never asked. Here are the answers!

Food. Our kids eat it every day at school during the school year. They grab those lunch trays and peruse the options, talk to the nice lunch lady, and ultimately choose what they want to nourish their bodies and get through the rest of the day.

But where does that food come from and who decides what to make?

Last year at The Children’s Museum of the Upstate’s Countdown to Kindergarten event, I met Joe Urban. Joe and his team were manning the new Greenville County Food Services (GCFS) food truck, a somewhat revolutionary concept that brings much-needed food into under served areas of the county.

I ended up having a great conversation with him and started following his Instagram account (@schoolfoodrocks), which seriously made me want to get in line with my kid at school every day to try their lunch options. They post all kind of yummy options – roasted vegetables, fish tacos, and braised brisket – stuff that I’d love to learn to cook in my own kitchen. This was no ordinary school lunch food. My interest was piqued so I reached out to Joe to learn more.

As the school year heats up, Joe and his team are working hard to deliver tasty and healthy options to 76,000 kids in 101 school and special centers. They have 750 employees who serve breakfast, lunch and after school snacks and are the largest food service program in the state, and 44th in the entire nation.

Joe is the Director for the Food and Nutrition Services department of Greenville County Schools, which means he oversees the food service operations for all Greenville County Schools locations. He was kind enough to answer our questions about food service at Greenville County schools.

My conversation with Joe Urban

Kidding Around Greenville: How does the Greenville County Schools Food and Nutrition Services decide what to serve every day at GC schools?

Joe Urban: We have developed a three-week repeating cycle menu for all grade levels. Elementary students have four different menu choices every day for lunch, and Middle and High students have seven to nine different choices every day. All schools offer a scratch-made Soup and Salad Bar three times each week and up to six different varieties of fresh fruit selections daily. The cycle menu will be modified twice during the school year to account for new recipes and seasonal ingredients.

KAG: How do you come up with new recipes?

JU: We pay close attention to trends in the foodservice industry and develop recipes based on what is hot right now in the fast casual and higher education (college) segments of the industry.

Today’s students are very food savvy and demand higher quality ingredients. Students love international foods, especially Asian, Italian, and Mexican and they also like to customize their meals. We listen closely to what they say and develop our menus accordingly.

Good examples of this include our Build Your Own Taco Bar, the Build Your Own Mashed Potato Bar, the Build Your Own Mac-N-Cheese Bar, our student-created Penne Pasta Pie, our new Meatball Sub, and our new Build Your Own Grain Bowls featuring Korean BBQ and Mahi Mahi with a large variety of topping choices including Kimchi and Pickled Red Onions.

High quality seafood including Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon, Mahi Mahi, Alaskan Pollock, Catfish and others will be served a minimum of once per week in Elementary schools and twice per week in Middle and High schools this year. New concepts including a Build Your Own Chicken & Waffle Bar, a scratch-made Soup & Sandwich Bar, a Build Your Own Burger Bar and others are currently in development and will be tested with students during this upcoming school year.

KAG: Where do you source your ingredients?

JU: We work with a number of local vendors and source as many products as possible locally. Through our produce vendor, we have developed strong relationships with local farmers who plant fields specifically based on the needs of Greenville County Schools.

We have also entered into a new partnership with a local cattle farmer in Brasstown, NC to source all the ground beef we will be using in our scratch-made meals. These cattle are humanely raised, fed a strict vegetarian diet, are always on grass, and are never treated with antibiotics. Fresh, no antibiotic ever beef in school meals is a huge commitment on our part to ensure our students only receive the highest quality food possible.

KAG: Greenville County Schools Food and Nutrition Services is the largest in the state. How do you manage serving good food on a daily basis to thousands of kids a day?

JU: It takes a huge team of highly trained and dedicated foodservice employees to meet our quality standards on a daily basis. We are very fortunate to have buy in from our employees on our mission to reinvent school food. We believe that we are positioned correctly at this time in our careers to push the perceived boundaries of school food service and provide our students with the greatest dining experiences possible.

KAG: Can you tell me a bit about your food truck? It’s pretty new, right?

JU: We purchased the food truck one year ago to help us increase the number of meals we can provide to needy students during the summer months. We operate more than 50 school and community feeding sites in the summer months as part of the USDA funded Summer Food Service Program.

We realized quickly that although we had these sites scattered throughout the county, there were many pockets of our community that needed our services but were not able to make it to one of our sites due to transportation issues. The food truck is the perfect answer to that issue:  we simply take the food right to the kids that need it the most.

During the school year, it gets used as surprise pop up events at high schools to sample new menu items during lunch, sample fresh fruit to elementary students, and support various school functions.

KAG: Can parents volunteer to help Greenville County Schools Food and Nutrition Services come up with recipes/test food – or is there something parents can do to help your mission?

JU: We welcome any suggestions and parents are always welcome to come sample items with us during their student’s lunch period.

KAG: Your Instagram page looks delicious. How do you decide which schools get to try out those meals?

JU: The vast majority of the food shown on all of our social media platforms are served at all schools. When we test out new items the schools are chosen by random so we can test the items out with different students as often as possible.

You can follow Greenville County Food Services on Facebook at Greenville County Schools Food and Nutrition Services, on Twitter at SchoolFoodRocks, and on Instagram at @SchoolFoodRocks.

Will you look at school lunches in a new light this school year?

Meet Kristina, KAG Food Expert

Kristina_headshot 150 pixel Kristina Hernandez is a mom of two girls, freelance writer and photographer and New Jersey native who is thrilled to call the Upstate her new home. She loves cooking, trying new foods, and checking out all that Greenville has to offer.

7 Tips Every Parent Needs to Know About Kids and Social Media

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The pervasiveness of social media is hard to escape.  We tag, share, pin, post, tweet, and snapchat to our hearts delight.  Ah yes, the verbs of social media continue to grow like a bountiful garden photosynthesized on hashtags and emojis.  Our kids are using social media with similar lavish profusion and it seems as if the more they feed and nurture these frenzied gardens, the more anxiety and angst grow like weeds among it.

To be in the know, yet not become too absorbed, overly preoccupied, and distracted is a tricky juxtaposition.  For many kids the need for more likes, followers, and retweets becomes an obsession.  Where do we, as parents, step in?  How can parents identify social media anxiety in their kids?  How can they prevent it? 

Thank you to our sponsor Christ Church Episcopal School for providing this content.

social-media-anxiety

Christ Church Episcopal School (CCES) places great emphasis on the role of technology in the classroom, as early as Primer (K5).  With that comes great responsibility, which is why we at CCES are intentional about our focus on online safety training, including ethical use of digital media and social media, in each division’s curriculum.  Lydia Pettigrew, the Middle School counselor at CCES and Valerie Riddle, Lower School Assistant Director and Chaplain, spend a lot of time guiding parents and students on appropriate behaviors regarding social media.  They have the following advice for parents.

Teach Kids About Social Media Early

“Social media usage in our society has evolved,” Pettigrew says.  “It used to be that we didn’t have to worry about communicating with kids about social media at all, but our world has changed.”  Pettigrew believes in exposing kids to social media early, as early as the 5th or 6th grade.  “I believe we need to allow kids to start using social media and learning the tools— for a restricted amount of time and with restricted access.  When we have parents who are withholding it completely, their kids are not exposed to it and don’t learn the necessary tools to manage it when they are older.”  Pettigrew and Riddle both recommend setting expectations and heavily monitoring a child’s use of social media.  For example, they could be allowed access 20 minutes a day.  Part of those expectations also include sitting down with your child, looking through their accounts, and talking about them.

Don’t Allow Devices in Kids’ Bedrooms at Night

Other guidelines to consider are not allowing devices in kids’ bedrooms at night.  Keeping devices in bedrooms interrupts their rest and research shows that this type of fatigue increases levels of depression, anxiety and eating disorders among our youth.  Consider a family docking station in the kitchen or office, or perhaps even keeping devices in the parents’ bedroom at night.

Understand Your Child’s Developmental Needs

“We know the adolescent brain is susceptible to addiction.  Impulsivity is heightened at this age, so we have to help with that.  Understanding where your child is developmentally, and putting in place restrictions and guidelines is necessary.  No devices should be allowed in bathrooms, ever.  It’s not a matter of trust, it’s a matter of kids being tempted.”

Encourage Time Unplugged

One thing social media slaps people hardest with is being excluded or FOMO.  Encouraging solitude is one way we can protect our kids from this unease.  Encourage time unplugged— reading a book or listening to music.  “What I find is that the kids who are comfortable with solitude are the ones who can cope better with the social media pressures.  If you are instilling in your child the value of solitude, the fact that his/her identity is not tied to being included or excluded, you are helping your child build the strongest tools he/she will need in navigating social media,” Pettigrew says.

Know When to Get Professional Help

“If your child is exhibiting belligerence or strong resistance when it comes to putting their device down, if it is very hard to establish rules around turning devices off at a reasonable hour, keeping devices out of the bedroom, or if your child feels like he/she needs to be looking at their device at every moment, even if you encourage different behaviors, that is when you need to look at the situation,” explains Pettigrew.  “That’s when I recommend you sit down and talk about what their identity is based on, then determine what kind of guidelines need to be revisited and whether professional help is needed.”

Review Your Child’s Accounts Regularly

Pettigrew goes on to say that personally, she looks through her kids’ accounts regularly, though not frequently for patterns of unhealthy behavior or exposure.  “It’s so important to know what’s going on in our kids’ lives.  Make sure, however, that you as the parent are not motivated by or finding pleasure in delving into your child’s social life or seeking to live vicariously through your child’s social life.  Your child should understand that your monitoring of their social media accounts is an expectation. You don’t need to say anything to your child about what you see on their accounts unless something stands out as a concern.”

Don’t Solve All Your Children’s Problems

It can be difficult to discern when it’s necessary to take action and when being confronted with an embarrassing or awkward social media situation is a normal part of the process of growing up.  Social media platforms are all very public, making harsh statements all the more hurtful.  They may not always rise to the definition of bullying, but are hurtful nonetheless.  “We as parents of adolescents are not here to solve their problems.  We are here to ask questions, to help them think through their choices and decisions” Pettigrew says.  “Encourage your child to connect with that person individually.  Something may have come across one way, but meant something entirely different.  We all know things can easily be taken out of context.”

In today’s world, courses on social technology and responsibility are not only important to our school’s curriculum, they’re a part of our school’s responsibility.  Kids need to know that the school sees this as a part of their development and a part of their education, and likewise the parents need to realize that.  “It’s a struggle,” Pettigrew says.  “What we’re constantly trying to get them to learn to do is solve their own problems. There’s certainly not one great program out there, it’s whatever works best with your population.”

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“If we can teach our kids some etiquette and the right way to be involved, social media is a positive tool for 21st century learning and enjoyment,” says Riddle.  “It’s all about balance.  Make sure you have the face to face time equal to the cyber time.”

Open House at Christ Church Episcopal School

Stop in for a personal tour of CCES on Tuesday, November 15th at 9:30 am or 6:00 pm. See for yourself what makes this school so special!

kidding-around-open-house-1

Have you begun talking with your kids about social media yet?

Here’s some more articles to learn about CCES and it’s programs in Greenville: Learn A Little More About CCES | What Are the Best Schools in Greenville SC

Meet Jamie Bryant
Jamie Bryant, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Christ Church Episcopal School, previously provided a broad range of marketing and communication services to private golf and resort clubs. She earned her degree in International Business from Clemson University. Jamie also serves as the JV Girls’ Lacrosse Coach at CCES. She is married to Garry and they have two children Alex and Francesca, both current students at CCES.